J. Robert Lennon, who teaches at Cornell and is a heck of a story writer himself, has a piece in The Nation about Denis Johnson’s The Largess of the Sea Maiden and this book’s relation to Jesus’ Son.
“I’ve gone looking for that feeling everywhere,” Fuckhead tells us in “Car Crash,” a line that also describes what we all desired most: not a sequel, exactly, but something with that same breezy, epiphanic quality, something both familiar and new, something unexpectedly expected.
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is that book. But it isn’t a sequel, or derivative of any of Johnson’s earlier work. It is its own perfect thing, and Lord preserve me, I think I love it every bit as much as I love Jesus’ Son.